Flax received its name from the Europeans who found out that this plant could be used for its fibers. Flax played an important role in our history and is known to be the oldest fibers that are still used by humans today.
Flax is found in mainly in swamps or low lying areas but will grow just about anywhere including your backyard. Many people plant the Flax as an evergreen decorative plant.
The Flax has one main stem that produces numerous swords shaped green branches that may or may not have a whitish-yellow strip on them. It will bloom tube like flowers that will turn bright red during the spring and summer. These flowers produce a huge amount of nectar. The large amounts nectar will attract many different kinds of birds and other nectar feeding animals. Flax likes to be planted in full sun and likes a lot of water in well drained soil. It will live on low water but will not grow as fast. Your free plant will reach up to five feet in about four months and grows in the shape of a vase. Fertilize your plant every two weeks when first planted with a water soluble fertilizer. Pruning is not necessary for this plant; if you need to trim it back do so right after the blooming season is over.
The fibers that come from the Flax are so strong that they were used to make fishing nets, ropes, and baskets. The also would make bags, clothing and shoes. I found many instructional videos on the web showing people how to make baskets out of Flax. Currently the fibers from the Flax are often used by artist and craftsmen to create handmade papers.